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A beautiful and functional range hood is an essential part of every kitchen. This appliance plays an extremely important role in the way your space looks and feels. A range hood can become a powerful design element adding a touch of character and style to your kitchen. When it works properly, it also helps make your kitchen space more comfortable and safe.

Choosing the right range hood for your kitchen space is not always easy. There are a lot of important features to consider in order to get the appliance that meets all your needs and requirements. Make sure that the range hood you prefer removes smoke and fumes effectively providing you with the best cooking experience. But how do you know that your range hood is the ideal choice for your kitchen?

There is one important parameter that indicates whether the range hood you opt for will be effective for your space. While choosing this kitchen appliance, pay particular attention to its suction power. The ventilation ability is usually measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). If you know how many CFM you need, you will be able to choose the right range hood for your space. Let’s dig deeper to find out what this parameter really is and how it can influence the efficiency of a range hood.

What Does CFM Mean?

To put it simply, the higher the CFM of your range hood, the more air it can remove from your kitchen. It is recommended to have 100 CFM for every 10,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of your cooktop.

There is no perfect CFM for a range hood. In fact, there is right CFM for your range hood and your kitchen. This parameter largely depends on the type of a cooktop you have and the size of your kitchen.

The Appropriate Range Hood CFM for Different Cooktops

The most popular cooktops you can install in your kitchen include gas, electric and induction cooktops. If you have a gas cooktop, it is crucial to have the range hood with the right CFM. A gas cooktop usually uses natural gas or propane. When you start cooking, these fuels mix with the air in your kitchen creating heat. And the amount of heat is determined by the amount of gas or propane burnt during the cooking process.

In order to calculate the appropriate amount of CFM for your range hood, you should analyze the BTUs the cooktop has and use the formula written above. On average, a gas cooktop has 500 – 18,000 BTUs. This number always depends on the burner used for cooking.

Today, a lot of homeowners prefer using electric cooktops instead of their gas counterparts. One of the main benefits of an electric cooktop is that there is no open flame and, as a result, no fumes from the gas burning. Electric cooktops heat an element and transfer this heat to a pan during the cooking process. That means that with an electric cooktop you will be able to use a low-CFM range hood and still remove the odors and grease effectively. For a gas cooker, you need a more powerful range hood to accomplish a complete removal of all toxic fumes produced during the cooking process. It’s well-known that natural gas stoves may release carbon monoxide and other pollutants that can be extremely dangerous to humans and pets. So, they have to be removed from your kitchen air.

Induction cooktops are a great alternative to electric and gas cooktops. These kitchen appliances are gaining huge popularity due to a great number of benefits they provide. One of the major benefits is that they need less energy to heat. Plus, the surface of the cooktop does not become hot. The heat is transferred directly to the pan making the cooking process more safe and convenient. For this cooktop, a range hood with 350 – 500 CFM would be enough to remove the smells and make the air in your kitchen healthy again. The amount of suction power you need for a range hood installed over an induction cooktop is often determined by your cooking habits.

The Link between the Size of the Kitchen and Your Range Hood CFM

When selecting a range hood, it’s essential to understand how the dimensions of the kitchen will influence the CFM of this appliance. Obviously large kitchens will have to get rid of more cooking fumes and pollutants. As a result, spacious kitchens need more powerful range hoods.

To measure your kitchen accurately, you should multiply its length, width and height. It will help you find the volume of the kitchen, another important parameter that determines the suction power of your range hood. Let’s suppose that your kitchen is 22ft long, 9ft wide and 8ft tall. So, the volume of your kitchen is 1,584 cubic feet. In order to determine your right CFM you should multiply this number by 15. So, 1,584 x 15 = 23,76 cubic feet per hour. If you divide this number by 60 minutes, you will get the CFM you need. 23.76/60 = 396. After that, compare the number you have received with the size of your cooktop and its BTU. Prefer the larger number to choose your best range hood CFM.

Other Factors that Determine Your CFM Range Hood Choice

If you are planning to buy a new range hood or just want to replace your old one, you should definitely consider your cooking habits in order to get the kitchen appliance with the most appropriate CFM. No doubt, you will need more CFM if you cook on a regular basis and for a great number of people. The distance between the stovetop and the range hood plays an important role as well. The higher the range hood is located, the more powerful it should be. Otherwise, it will not be able to do the job well. And finally, choose a range hood with your budget in mind. Avoid buying the cheapest range hoods because they are often made of low-quality materials and will probably not last long.
CFM is an important range hood parameter that should never be overlooked. Select the ideal CFM for your range hood to enjoy cooking in a safe and comfortable environment.

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